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Garage 59 Returns to McLaren after Three Seasons with Aston

Garage 59 returns to manufacturer with which it won the 2016 Blancpain GT Endurance title…

Photo: Garage 59

Garage 59 has announced that it will return to running McLaren GT3 machinery next year after three seasons with Aston Martin.

The British squad has switched manufacturers for its 2022 campaign, which is due to kick off with a two-car Asian Le Mans Series effort with the McLaren 720S GT3.

Garage 59 won the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup title with a McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Rob Bell, Shane van Gisbergen and Come Ledogar, but next year will mark its first operating the 720S model that McLaren customers have used since 2019.

The team is yet to name its drivers for the Asian LMS season, which consists of four races over two February weekends at Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit.

That is currently the only 2022 program that Garage 59 has locked in so far. This year the team took its Aston Martin Vantage GT3s to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance and Sprint Cups in addition to Asian LMS.

According to an official team statement, Garage 59 “continues to make plans for the remainder of the 2022 season” with more information to come in the new year.

“Garage 59 has a rich history with McLaren and it’s great to be back with them for 2022,” said team principal Andrew Kirkaldy.

“The 720S looked very promising throughout last year so we are really looking forward to getting out there with ours and going racing.”

After fielding McLarens for several years, Garage 59 purchased a pair of Aston Martin Vantage GT3s for the 2019 GTWC Europe Endurance Cup season, running one in the Pro class and the other in Am Cup.

It then focused on the Silver and Pro-Am categories for the next two seasons and sealed the 2020 Endurance Cup Pro-Am title with Alexander West and Chris Goodwin.

This year Garage 59 embarked on its first Sprint Cup campaign since its McLaren 650S days, running both of its Aston Martins in each GTWC Europe series for combined points.

But arguably its best result of the year came courtesy of a cameo Pro-class entry for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa where Aston Martin factory drivers Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim and Ross Gunn landed an overall podium for the team.

Last month one of Garage 59’s Asian LMS and Spa Pro-Am drivers from 2021, Marvin Kirchhofer, signed on as a McLaren Automotive factory driver amid Ben Barnicoat’s move to Lexus.

A total of four McLaren 720S GT3s are now set to tackle the 2022 Asian LMS season, with the Garage 59 stable adding to the two previously confirmed entries from fellow British outfit Optimum Motorsport.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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